Discounts on monthly rent due to pests

9 Replies

Our tenant has had to contend with mice during her first month in out investment property. There were no signs of mice before her occupying the property but she's been wonderful and understanding. Upon her notifying us of the problem (on a Thursday) I had an exterminator there on Monday after the weekend. 

My question is this: should we discount her rent for having to put up with mouse droppings all over the kitchen?

Since you took care of the issue promptly and had no knowledge of an infestation, and because you paid for the pest control service, I do not see a reason to credit rent.  Is she asking for a credit?  You don't want to get into the habit of issuing credits for every maintenance issue that arises.  The important part is that you respond to them and fix them quickly and effectively.

No you don't discount rent for that, you simply take care of the issue and move on. Because the next time she sees a mouse you'll lose another $100 in rent, then when the AC breaks she'll want another break in rent, that's not something you want to do.

Thank you for the help!

I really appreciate it!  

Glad there is a forum/group like this to help out new landlords.

Thanks again!

I forgot to mention that she is NOT asking for a credit. Actually she's been great through this whole thing. I just happened to see that there were droppings EVERYWHERE in the kitchen. In the dish rack after she washed dishes, on the kitchen windowsill, etc...

But I won't venture down that road and hopefully this whole situation is soon a memory.

Thank you!

No, as you already paid expenses to the pest control company. For the side of cleaning of mouse dropping that is the part of cleaning their property.

There was an issue and you rectified it promptly.  Sounds like the tenant and you are on the exact same page and there is mutual respect there.  

If you voluntarily credit her rent you are setting the precedent that you will credit her rent whenever something happens.  In my opinion that is not a good precedent to set.

How do you know she didn't bring the mice in with her? :)

I would not. your prompt handling of the situation is good.

Since we rent single family detached, our lease terms state tenant is responsible for keeping unit pest free.  We will usually pay for a pest control treatment if they complain within the first 30 days, but then make it clear that they are responsible for any further problems.  It is very easy for pests to come in with their moving boxes, and it bothers me to even pay for that initial treatment as I've usually just worked on the home and know it's pest-free at move-in, but I also know it's not a good idea to start the lease term by battling over the issue.  

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